Sunday, January 30, 2005

Backdoor Money

Bill O’Reilly said something along the lines of, with an eyebrow cocked, that the Democrats have suffered from the success of the Iraqi elections – that it’s a victory for Bush. Half of Hannity and Colmes has essentially consisted of making fun of Democrats and commenting on how wrong they obviously are now.

I certainly acknowledge that it’s great for the Iraqi people and I felt genuine happiness at the idea that they had their elections finally, and it went off fairly well.

However it does not change the fact that Democrats should be equally happy today with the resignation of Rumsfeld’s chief policy advisor, Mr. Douglas J. Feith, the third-ranking civilian in the Pentagon, and the author of the intelligence recommendations to the Whitehouse that led them to believe in the invisible WMDs.

“Is it possible to agree with the results but not the road that got us there?” Colmes asked Lieberman on Sunday night.

“Nobody of any credibility wants us to pull out,” said Lieberman. “This is a day when the classic liberals… ought to be thrilled, because millions of people who lived under dictators came out to vote. … I wish there was less carping about the past and more unity…” he said, as he went on to suggest that we should all get behind the Bushies now and take it up the ass.

Furthermore, the presence of an Iraqi government that has been elected by a mostly free election, does not obviate the possibility that most of Iraq’s oil is now being controlled by the US. Are Iraqi-owned companies and the people of Iraq going to profit from the oil, or will US companies mainly profit?

In any case, the elections JUST happened, and there is really no sense in immediately declaring the thing a total success and such a historic moment. That very well may be, but tomorrow the sun will rise on the same Iraq that has seen some of its highest casualty levels of the war that have been happening so far.

Further, the Iraqi people do not have democracy. Rather, they have more like a republic, like what we have in the USA, with an elected body that is now putting a prime minister in place. Inevitably now, international corporations like McDonald’s and everything else will start coming. Inevitably now, the people have handed their futures off to an elite group of politicians and corporations, where, just like in the USA, backdoor money, expensive political dinners, large donations, and a political/corporate elite will hold all the power.

What will happen when Iraq enters an economic depression while foreign corporations control their oil? What will happen to that new government we so cherish now?

I hope all the best. But I think it a bit premature to judge the lasting impact of this, and perhaps it is best not to assume it has no chance of failure, like the Titanic setting out to sea. Perhaps it is best not to assume that, suddenly, from here, everything will go as expected, unlike earlier in the war, where nothing has gone as expected.

train wrecks and elections

Well the Iraqi election was today. Those that view me as a "liberal" may think that this has been a blow to the legitimacy of my anti-Bush stance. I don't think so. I still think that the war was launched impatiently under false intelligence, that it was mishandled in so many ways, and that this particular vote should have happened long ago, earlier in our occupation. I think that if we were to go to war, there was a better way to do it, even if it took much longer to get the go-ahead. Because what kind of precedent has been set? That it is OK to invade a country just in order to set up a democracy there? How many other states that are run by dictators are going to be dealt with in this way? What if Russia (just as a random example) unilaterally decides to invade Iran in order to overthrow their government? Or to invade Cuba? If it's OK for the US to do it, then would it be OK for any other country to do so? What gives us the divine right?

Also, in the past few days, one news story that really struck me was the California train wreck story. After a crazed and suicidal fella parked his Jeep on the tracks, the first fear the police had was that this was a terrorist attack. And yet it was merely a distraught father with a restraining order away from his kids -- a guy whose estranged wife had known he was suicidal yet did nothing about it.

Isn't it ironic that we're at a greater risk from failed social structures than the very "war" we're supposedly in? By failed social structures, I simply mean the system that permitted a suicidal Mr. Alvarez to wander in his unhealthy state to the extent that he felt this would be a good recourse. When a man is having trouble with life and drugs, surely there's a better solution than denying him access to those he loves and sending him back out into the cold.

For that matter, what makes Mr. Alvarez much different from a suicidal "terrorist"? A lot, obviously -- mainly that the terrorist is supposedly driven by some political/religious ideology while the "lone crazy" is dismissable as being "insane" or having mental or drug problems.

But are there similar factors that drive both the terrorist and those like Alvarez to commit a heinous act? In what ways has the Western system failed those who are now bent on committing terrorist acts? How have we failed Alvarez, as well as others who have lashed out in destructive and violent ways? We responded to 9/11 by increasing our military presence in the Muslim world, even though, in fact, that very military presence is seen by many as having been the root cause of 9/11, which was a forceful reaction against American activities in that region. And the acts of Alvarez are likely, if anything, to further lead people to the belief that druggy fathers are extremely dangerous and should be further alienated from society, which will inevitably lead to more people like Mr. Alvarez walking the streets.

Thank God, though, that it WASN'T a terrorist attack, because even though the damage would've been the same, the official reaction to it would have been far worse. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer $$$ would have been spent on task forces and event centers set up to bureaucratize the situation. Then, inevitably, some overkill security system would have been mandated for all train crossings in the U.S. The already ailing passenger rail industry would have taken huge losses from a downturn in ticket sales, and the rail shipment industry would also have been badly damaged (to the probable benefit of truckers everywhere).

Indeed, as Dr. Nabib, and Iraqi dentist, was quoted as saying (NY Times 1/27/05), "The Americans are part of the terrorism. THey're so frightened, anything that happens to them, they start shooting right away." So even if the same number of people died and the same number of trains crashed, if the guy was a "terrorist" then we would have reacted fearfully in kind, as if almost on que, on command. Does this propensity to react fearfully only to terrorism (but not to exactly similar domestic threats) not put us that much more at the terrorists' mercy, at least, if they can be considered as having any?

Haven't the terrorists already won, to a certain extent, if, upon learning that the train wreck was NOT and act of terrorism, then NO task force is established to find a way to prevent future such "attacks"? To try to solve the underlying social causes behind the mental state of Mr. Alvarez? I'm no expert on Mr. Alverez' situation, but I'm guessing that there was probably a better way for our legal system to have dealt with him to hopefully placate his dangerous state of mind rather than enrage it -- just as I'm guessing that there is probably a better way for us to deal with the Middle East than we have been in the past 20-30 years, since Iran Contra and before.

Maybe if our nation and its citizens actually followed Christian (or Jewish, or Islamic, or Buddhist) values (instead of just hypocritically claiming to be Christian while being the most warlike and secular major country in the world), then we would neither be in a "war" on "terrorism", nor would we leave the Mr. Alvarez's of the world to their own devices (and to public transportation devices).

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


I admit it. I'm depressed about politics since Bush won, and that's why I haven't been writing in here. I feel like I live in a nation full of deceived idiots. Either that, or there was election fraud related to the electronic voting machines. Whatever the case, it's disgusting and the upcoming Iraqi "election" is sure to be a spectacle of mismanaged mayhem.

The most recent thing that caught my interest politically was the confirmation of Apartmentleeezzza. Man, if she tried to lease a condo from me, I would deny the application -- and not because she's black, but because she's EVIL. Yes, Condoleezza Rice is most certainly the child of Satan. And now she's going to be the Secretary of State, which Colon Power was. Can we not have a primary diplomat whose name does not sound like a disease? And who is not a stooge?

Another item of interest was the recent killing of a Coptic Egyptian family in New Jersey. All these Christians there blame it on the Muslims and there was damn near a riot.

Meanwhile, up the street in NYC, at Columbia University, some Jewish American Princesses are accusing various Islamic professors there of "intimidating" them. LOL~! Since when were professors not allowed to intimidate students? I mean, Jesus H. Christ, if I had a dime for every time a professor made me feel "intimidated"... that's their fucking job! @@ Preposterous. These Islamic professors, who are supposedly pro-Palestinian, are under serious fire now. One of them said, "These are the dark ages." I tend to agree.

It reminds me of something that happened while I was at Reed. An African-American professor by the name of Pancho Savery was picked on for his decidedly anti-white-intellectual-establishment bias. He stems from the same polemical tradition (at least in spirit) as many feminists: assault the ivory tower with bent rhetoric in its own hallowed halls. Suffice it to say that racist grafiti calling for his hanging (amont other things) has appeared in various spots around campus, and caused a huge uproar at Reed. Of course, that didn't make the NY Times, but it made my blog.

Mainly, apart from everything else, I'm just appalled that no one has found a way to impeach W. yet. What gives? I mean, they got Clinton on basically a technicality, yet Bush himself has perpetrated a far greater lie on the American people. The impingements on personal freedom that he has permitted are an outrage -- such as the impassable barricade around the PUBLIC park that is next to the White House.

May God help us all.